In another move to solidify the brand and continue making waves on mobile platforms, Facebook has announced they will be acquiring popular messaging application WhatsApp for $19 (£11) billion.
The move is a big one, the biggest acquisition Facebook has ever started, dwarfing the photo sharing company Instagram by a significant margin. The WhatsApp team will be paid in stock and the leader, Jan Koum, will join Facebook’s board.
Even though the move may first be seen as another platform for Facebook to funnel ads into, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, revealed his company will remain independent and does not think advertisements are the right way to monetise a messaging service.
Currently, WhatsApp has around 450 million users and relies on the one time payment from each user to keep the business running. The WhatsApp team is only 50 employees and they will all gain huge shares for their time.
Facebook came in after talks between Google and WhatsApp broke down, apparently the company offered $11 billion and got rejected. Google is now looking towards BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to possibly one-up Facebook.
It is yet another fight of who can spend the most money, Waze, the location and navigation service, was another app fought over by Facebook and Google, with Google winning the battle that time.
WhatsApp is more value in numbers than value in revenue, the company makes very little off the application, with the £1.49 the only payment they ever get. They do not run ads on the service and the company does not offer any premium features for a larger price.
Perhaps Facebook will add features and functionality for business users to make ends meet or perhaps they are only bothered about the 450 million potential users on WhatsApp, some of which may not be on Facebook.